Of course, like many things here in Israel, the announcement caused controversy.
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)?
7:55PM: Quote of the day:
“The American leaders still act like cowboys and like heroes in Western movies. Whenever there is a problem, they use their guns.”
“Obama seems to be just a new face but with the same intentions, which is deceiving world nations.”
“We advise Mr. Obama to be careful and not follow the path of his predecessor as he would have the same fate as Bush, and we are not interested in this to happen.”
– Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad showing Obama where all that appeasement has gotten him
6:05PM: Excerpt from the Bank of Israel Report which will be published in April:
- The number of Palestinians working in Israel increased markedly in the years 2002–08. This contributed to the improvement of employment in the Palestinian economy, and in 2008 yielded an income of $649 million, more than 10 percent of the Palestinian GDP.
- The number of Palestinians resident in Judea and Samaria working in Israel’s economy reached 44,000 in 2008––about 25,000 of them with work permits and 16,000 without––constituting about 2 percent of the number of employees in Israel’s business sector.
5:08PM: What happens when you plagiarize: This Turkish columnist opines that Israel may well be training Kurds in Iraq.
Problem is, he has inadvertently copied chunks from a pro-Israel columnist.
Is Israel training Kurds?
Any people baffled by the weight and frequency of events involving or surrounding their country will inevitably rely on conspiracy theories. And Turkey is saturated with an abundance of them. Contaminated with the poison of “internal enemies,” besides external ones, what one sees may be quite the opposite.
Peaceful rhetoric may be a cover for an ongoing covert war waged against us. A friend may be an enemy in disguise. Although we cannot really answer why we have so many enemies or why so many people have made us their enemies, we are on constant alert.
This state of mind was once again provoked with reports suggesting that Israeli military and intelligence agents are currently engaged in covert operations in the Kurdish section of Iraq. They are reported to be training Kurdish commandos in guerrilla warfare and anti-terror tactics. Under normal circumstances, this information is not newsworthy. Every armed force has an elite special operations unit. However, the intention behind this training is poisonous: Kurds feel that their country is being invaded from all directions by states like Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, and they are getting ready to end the occupation of these “imperialist” forces! That is why they are accepting Israeli assistance in their struggle for reunification and full independence.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq sniffed something in the air to this effect, but Kurdish leaders and Israeli officials denied cooperation between Iraqi Kurds and Tel Aviv. Both of them refused to make any comments on the issue.
But the American press picked up the scent of blood. The New Yorker in particular pressed on, but got no positive answers from the Israelis. Yet the reporters of the magazine found out that Israel’s presence in northern Iraq was widely acknowledged within the US intelligence community. American intelligence officials told The New Yorker that when asked why they were in the Kurdish region, the Israelis answered “because we should be here.” Not convinced of this answer, CIA officials at the time thought of exposing Israel’s assistance to the Kurds. This is what The New Yorker wrote in 2004, adding that besides rumors of Israel training Kurdish commandos, Israeli-Kurdish relations have expanded considerably starting in 2003. In July 2003, the Israeli government lifted its embargo on Iraq, allowing trade between the two peoples. But it seems this decision was driven with the aim of exporting Israeli military material to the Kurds.
Jews feel that they are threatened by the Arabs and Iran, and Kurds are neither Arab nor Persian. So if Israel supports the Kurds’ claim for independence, it will have a natural ally plus a functional watchtower to see what is going on in Iran, Syria and Iraq. Needless to say, such cooperation will draw the wrath of all three states as well as Turkey, and the Kurds themselves will suffer most from the backlash.
Israeli-trained Kurdish commandos have also been reported to accompany Israeli operatives across the Iraq-Iran border in recent years to install sensory devices meant to monitor suspected Iranian nuclear facilities.
Recently, a Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, was assassinated in Dubai by alleged Israeli agents. The Hamas organization seriously suspects Israeli agents operating out of Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi Kurdish officials and their Israeli counterparts do not utter a word, but rumors are circulating that Israel is training the Kurds to be anti-terrorist commandos. In return for their training, Israelis are anticipating Kurdish commandos will gather intelligence about Iran and Syria for Israel. It is claimed that the Kurds monitor Iranian nuclear facilities.
These rumors, needless to say, are heard by Turkish intelligence circles, too. Could it be that recently this information has seriously contributed to Turkey’s coldness to Israel and distancing itself from the Jewish state? Especially when the Turks heard that Israelis are telling the Kurds or sharing with them the statement that “the Kurds, whose country is currently occupied by Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria, are aided by Israel in their fight for independence, as they were many years ago.”
The source of this information is (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 2/5).
The Kurds fought for independence from Iraq, Iran and Turkey. Some Kurds committed terrorism against Turkey. It is going too far to call their “country” “occupied.” What country? It would be sufficient to suggest that the 40 million Kurds are a separate nationality for whom a case can be made for self-determination. This is in contrast with the Palestinian Arabs, who are not a separate nationality and for whom no case has been made for self-determination, only asserted, and who in any case have a state of their own in Palestine, called Jordan.
Winston Mideast Analysis & Commentary has a general admonition about Western training of Muslim allies. If not careful about who is recruited, the West will train people who turn on them, as did the Mujahideen of Afghanistan. The next likely candidates to make trouble are the Palestinian Authority troops trained by the US and others.
4:36PM: Here is a Nigerian doctor expressing his views about the Apartheid state of Israel.
4:26PM: Bahraini MPs want to cancel a soccer friendly between Bahrain and “Palestine” because..well, you read the reason.
A call to cancel plans to have the Bahrain national football team play a friendly match against Palestine next month went out from MPs yesterday.
The friendly match between Bahrain and Palestine, which is set to take place in the West Bank, has drawn criticism from individual MPs, civil society groups and some of the players who say it was a step towards normalisation of relations with Israel.
They claimed that Bahraini players and team delegates will have to be approved and have their passports stamped by the Israeli authorities, who control the West Bank’s entry and exit points.
Egyptian officials indefinitely postponed a similar match last month.
MP Ibrahim Busandal said that having Bahraini passports stamped with Israelis authorisation was a clear normalisation with the Zionist enemy.
“We don’t acknowledge Israel and having Bahraini players and delegates go through Israeli procedures and get approval from them means that we accept their existence, while we don’t,” he said.
Does this sound like people who would tolerate a Jewish state alongside a palestinian one?
4:22PM: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Israel “the principal threat to regional peace,” and demonstrated why Richard Goldstone has been so useful to haters of Israel.
“Goldstone is a Jew and his report is clear,” the Turkish leader told reporters invited to meet him at the Paris Ritz.
4:20PM: Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi has called Israel “too weak to start a war with Iran,” followed by the mandatory threat of destruction.
Asked about Iran’s response to any possible aggression by Israel, he underlined, “We have given their response before and if something like that happens, nothing will likely be left of the illegitimate Zionist regime.”
2:35PM: Ma’an reports that the mortar shells fired this morning (referred to as “homemade projectiles”) , and which landed in palestinian territory, injured 5 palestinians.
Medical sources at the Beit Hanoun Hospital said the injured were from the Al-Amoudi and Abu Uda families, who were all hospitalized at 10:00pm sustaining varied wounds from shrapnel and a small fire that broke out in one of the homes. Medics said four of the victims suffered light to moderate injuries, while a fifth was seriously injured, sustaining fractures in his feet. He was transferred to the Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, they said.
Needless to say, there are palestinians not happy about this.
Commenting on the incident, senior leader of the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP) Walid Awad, called on armed Palestinian groups to stop firing homemade projectiles from the Gaza Strip immediately.
“These projectiles do not harm the occupation and pose a threat to Palestinian citizens,” he said, adding that projectile fire was used as an excuse by Israel to continue launching airstrikes on Gaza, to invade the West Bank, to continue building settlements and to finalize plans for a new invasion of Gaza.
Awad reiterated the call of the 2006 Prisoners Document for a Palestinian national agreement, saying there must be a united front against Israel, that did not include the launch of projectiles at this time.
But perhaps at a later time, no doubt.
12:25PM: An Australian real estate agent has been threatened by someone who took issue with its public support of Israel.
The slur was made in an anonymous letter sent to LJ Hooker Elsternwick.
The letter also called the agents “traitors” and included the threat, “take that board down or your business will suffer”.
Director of the family run company Alex Flamm, who together with his sons, Oren and Golan, are the faces of the agency, said the company has never been targeted like that before.
“[I feel] absolutely ropeable, angry and infuriated by the ignorance of the idiot that sent it,” he said. “The person who sent the letter is voicing his patriotism the only way they know how and that is by threats, while at the same time accuse the Jewish people of having achieved statehood by using “terror”.”
Flamm said he is not “paranoid” about anti-Semitism, rather, he is proud of his Jewish heritage and disappointed about the “few morons” who “are capable of writing hate mail filled with their version of terrorism and threats under the guise of their patriotism”.
Flamm has reported the letter to the police and Community Security Group.
While the anonymous nature of the threat makes it difficult for the police to act on, Senior Constable Deryn Boote from Caulfield Police Station has referred the matter to the Divisional Intelligence Unit based at Moorabbin Police Station.
That unit was set up in recent years to gather information on anti-Semitic and Israel-related offences in Victoria.? The sign, which was situated on Glen Eira Road, was still visible early this week, but Flamm said it would be removed to protect his business.
LJ Hooker is one of a handful of real estate agents who are active in supporting the local Jewish community and Israel.
Ahh yes. Opponents of Israel are such a tolerant bunch, aren’t they?
8:25AM: A few days after Hamas said they were trying to curb the rocket fire into Israel and Islamic Jihad announced it would cease firing rockets into Israel, 6 mortar shells have been fired at Israel, but landed in palestinian territory.
Looks like they’ve found a loophole.
6:06AM: It’s not every day you see a headline like this on Lebanon’s The Daily Star.
6:04AM: Watch British charity War On Want trash the Waitrose, Barbican, London branch on 30 March in another “boycott Israel” endeavor.
As Jonathan Hoffman writes:
Please remember this when it comes to the BBC’s “Red Nose Day Appeal”, “Comic Relief”, “Sport Relief”. War On Want is a major beneficiary of these appeals.
if you want to donate to Comic Relief etc, just look at the list of charities in the above links, strike out War On Want, then pick and mix the Charities of your choice and donate
And do not let your children be sucked into appeals at their schools which include War On Want.
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